AFPM ’13: Latin American PP buyers ready for lower April prices

23 March 2013 16:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Polypropylene (PP) demand in Latin America has been mixed, with different circumstances in each country, sources said this week heading into the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) International Petrochemical Conference.

Strong increases in feedstock propylene early in the year encouraged buyers to do low-volume purchases, putting pressure on producers to lower prices.

In Mexico, prices were reduced by 6 cents/lb ($132/tonne, €102/tonne) in March, a quantity considered not enough to bring buyers back. PP prices had increased by 21-23 cents/lb until February.

March PE prices have remained steady in Argentina and Brazil after strong increases early in the year, implemented to offset higher costs of feedstock ethylene.

Prices have risen modestly in Chile, where supply has tightened with shortages of raw materials from the local refiner.

Prices had strong increases in Colombia, but the slow demand is suggesting that the remedy will be lower prices in April.

In Venezuela, PP prices have not changed much after the currency devaluation practiced in February because the country is almost self-sufficient in PP.

The death of President Hugo Chavez has added uncertainty, but no big changes are expected in the short term.

AFPM begins on Sunday and lasts through Tuesday in San Antonio, Texas.

($1 = €0.77)

By: George Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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